Building The Breakfast Cookie

Six Steps To Building Yourself…

The Breakfast Cookie

1. Mash and smash one super sweet, medium-large banana.

2. Add 1/2 cup of uncooked old fashioned oats and your favorite spices.

(I usually add 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves and 1/2 tsp cinnamon)

3. Add 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa.

This is important if you’re like me and live for all things chocolate.

4. Add 1 Tbsp. chunky peanut butter and a tsp of your favorite jam.

(Raspberry, you know, goes very well with the whole chocolate thing you’ve got going on.  Just sayin’.)

5. Smash, smash, smash everything together.

6. Roll out 4 portions in the palm of your hand, just as you would a meatball.

Top each cookie with an almond.

Sprinkle a pinch of coconut.

Serve with milk and enjoy each delightful bite.

If the mixture is too soft: Add wheat germ or wheat bran or crushed flax.

If the mixture is too firm: Add a Tbsp. or so of milk.

QUESTION: What are you eating for breakfast?

Over A Bowl of Oats

It was over a bowl of crunchy cashew banana oats, that I officially began my New Years Resolution.

 

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Each new year, I like to plan out what my important goals will be.  Sometimes I fall flat on my face and realize that I did nothing to achieve my resolutions.  Other years I’m overwhelmed by all that was accomplished. 

This year, I decided that I wanted to make my goals entirely achievable.  Which explains why “travel to Paris” isn’t on the list.  Maybe next year.  😉

What was on the list, was the goal of reading one book a month for the entire year of 2011.  Today, I finished January’s book: Brooklyn.

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At first I didn’t much like the book.  It was—what’s the word?—simple.  Almost too simple.  But then I realized that it was simple because Elise was simple.  She was a young girl who knew nothing outside of her hometown in Ireland.  She thought nothing would ever change.  That her sister Rose and her mother would always be right there.  That life would continue on, just as is. 

And then things change.  The book becomes more complex.  Elise travels to America to find work, and the book has an undertone of fear.  Fear of the unknown.  And then, when she meets a young Italian man in America, the book become becomes light.  Frivolous, even.  Exciting. 

The book keeps changing, as each part of the book holds a new tone.  It’s rare to find a book that can change a character—change the entire tone—while still holding true to the personality of the original character.  The book is raw.  Simple.  Complex.  Sad but real.  Honest. 

I loved it!

 

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I think the key for pulling through with New Years Resolutions and goals for me, is to break them down month by month.  It holds me accountable, and I absolutely love the fresh start that each new month (each new DAY, for that matter) brings. 😀

Crunchy Cashew Banana Oats

I’ve been eating this standard breakfast for the past week or so.  I love the sweetness of cashew butter and bananas, and I love the crunch that granola brings to the table.  It’s a wonderful, winning combination.

You could make this stovetop, of course, but preparing the mix the night before and microwaving it the following morning produces very similar results.  Letting the oats sit in the liquid for a nights course softens them right up; you will have a deliciously creamy bowl of oatmeal in 3-5 minutes flat.  Enjoy this warm treat on even the busiest of mornings. :D 

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. milk + 1/4 c. water
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed flax seed
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola
  • 2 Tbsp. cashew butter
  1. In a large, microwaveable bowl, place oatmeal, milk, water, banana, flax seed and spices in a bowl.  Stir, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning, uncover the bowl and microwave for 3-5 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Top with granola and cashew butter and enjoy with your favorite book.

Question: Do you make daily/monthly/yearly goals for yourself?  How do you make them achievable? 

ready (or not) for winter

Dear winter, I’m not really ready for you yet.  I love your sparkly flurries, your rush of cool air, and yes, I even love your fierce and bold personality.  But…I’m just not ready for you yet.

It was only about 10 months ago, when I was out running 11 miles in the middle of a blizzard.  My face felt numb.  My feet felt like…well…they actually felt like nothing at the time.  And I had a smile plastered on my face, as if I had just been botoxed.  And, I truly loved every second of the experience.

Now, fast forward 10 months to the present:  December 8, 2010.

The moment I stepped my sleepy self outside and onto the front porch, I wanted to run back and hide under my warm, dreamy blankets.  Into my dark, cozy room.  For just a few more moments.  *Sigh.*

It was 16 degrees out this morning with a blustery wind that immediately burned my cheeks.  But I wasn’t out running 11 miles.  There was no snow on the ground.  I could feel my feet.  Life wasn’t really that bad after all. 

And so I kept on trudging.  One foot in front of the other until I began feeling warm again.  This happened on the last stretch home as I covered a nice gentle 3 mile run.  Sometimes getting out of bed and facing the cold is a major challenge for me, but it’s always so well worth it in the end. 😀

Overnight Oatmeal

If you plan on working out in the morning, it’s important to not give yourself any available excuse for getting out of it.  Especially in the winter, when we need all the motivation that we can possibly get. 😉

This preparation method saves you the trouble (and time) of putting things together in the morning.  A quick pop in the microwave, and your breakfast is ready.  And finally, after fueling yourself with a warm bowl of hot oats, head out and get your workout in.  You’ll be glad you did. 😀

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 T. flax
  • 1 c. milk + 1/4 c. water
  • toppings: about 2 T. peanut butter
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together except for the peanut butter.  Place in a high topped (to avoid boiling over) microwaveable dish and put in fridge overnight.
  2. The next morning, place dish in microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Stir.  Heat another 1-2 minutes and top with peanut butter. 
  3. ENJOY! 😀

Question: Are you ready for winter this year?  What are some of your favorite activities in the winter months?

Breakfast Bonanza, day one

The sky was extra beautiful last night.

Fierce and burning on one side. 
 

Bright blue and gentle on the other.

This resulted in a gorgeous splash of color.  The leaves were like little mirrors, reflecting the light in all different directions. 

It was stunning.

Breakfast Bonanza…step 1…

Something about the beautiful sky made me feel like baking.  Or maybe I was just looking for any old excuse to turn the oven on.

For my first breakfast bonanza challenge, I had my heart set on breakfasts scones.  With hints of cinnamon.  And orange. 

And a handful of dried cranberries for good measure.

When adding the butter to your dry mix, use a pastry cutter if this utensil is part of your kitchen collection.

If you’re like me, however, and a pastry cutter is still on your amazon wish list, two knives will do just fine. 

Hands work well too.

Cooked to golden perfection.  In fifteen minutes flat.  What’s not to love?

Breakfast Bonanza…step 2…

When it comes to breakfast, I like to focus on eating a good mix of whole grains (with fiber!), healthy fat, and lean protein.  The protein is great for keeping you full all morning long. 

I could have had eggs with my morning scone.  But I kind of, sort of, wanted greek yogurt.  Without the price tag.  😉

You will need: One strainer with very tiny holes, a bowl and a paper towl.

I wasn’t sure how much yogurt I would “lose” with the straining process, so I used two yogurts just to be on the safe side. 

Place paper towl in strainer, pour yogurt on top of paper towel, and let yogurt strain in the fridge overnight. 

(somehow this reminded me of milking a cow :mrgreen: )

Breakfast Bonanza…step 3…

Time.  To.  Eat.

This morning, I topped the greek yogurt with walnuts and a drizzle of agave.  I love how thick and creamy this came out.  Very much like chobani.

I ended up using the yogurt as more of a topping for my scone, because that’s the way I roll. 

Delicious.

Greek Yogurt–serves 1 or 2

If you’re looking for a more affordable way to include greek yogurt in your life, it’s time to make your own! 

  • 2, 6-oz. containers of plain, nonfat yogurt
  • toppings of choice

Place a paper towel in a very small-holed strainer.  Place strainer over a bowl.  (Make sure the strainer does not touch the bottom of the bowl.)  Pour yogurt on top of paper towel and let it sit overnight in refrigerator.  Pop out of paper towel the next morning, and serve with your favorite toppings (fresh fruit, nuts, honey, granola, etc.)  Enjoy! 😀

Breakfast Scones–serves 4

These were subtle in sweetness, perfect for an early morning.  Not to mention the fact that they’re very transportable.  You could easily throw a couple of these into a container with a handful of nuts and a fruit for breakfast-on-the-go. 😀

  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 2/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • about 6 dashes of cinnamon
  • zest of one orange
  • handful of dried cranberries (about 2-3 T.)
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk (or 1/2 c. milk + 1 tsp lemon juice)
  1. Mix together first 6 ingredients (oats through cranberries.)  Cut in the butter until you have a mixture of fine crumbs.  Mix in the buttermilk, just until moistened.
  2. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Portion out 4 round scones and bake at 475 until golden brown, about 12-13 minutes.
  3. Eat while still hot or cool on rack.  May be reheated in toaster oven the following morning. 😀
  4. ENJOY!

Question: What is your favorite way to eat yogurt?

In case you missed it, there’s a Breakfast Bonanza occuring from today until November 6.  The idea is to mix things up and try new breakfasts for an entire week.  Feel free to let me know if you’ve made an awesome breakfast (via comment,) and I’ll post your breakfast my official breakfast post next week. 😀

b-b-b-usy morning

Back in the day when life consisted of early morning classes, too little time, lack of sleep, and biochemistry exams, I became good friends with the breakfast cookie.

(check out my ‘breakfasts’ section on the right for the easy peazy recipe!)

Quick.

Easy.

Nutritious and filling.

Perfect.  It’s my breakfast of choice on those mornings when even drying my hair is an unrealistic option.  😉

Someday soon, I will tell you all how tired I am of salads.  How ready I am for warm, winter soups.  How, if I see one—just one!—more cucumber or tomato, I will not be able to withold a scream.

But until then, I’ll keep on munchin’.  My lunch time salads have been continually hitting all those right spots.  Mmm…summer produce makes me wonder how I could ever grow tired of a crisp, tender salad.

  • mixed greens
  • cucumber and tomato from the garden
  • carrot
  • kidney beans
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

+ kashis’.

+ dessert.

I love packed lunches.

Also brought along an apple, some almonds and a homemade granola bar for those hunger attacks in the morning and afternoon.

I never quite know what to call a dinner like this.  Scrambled eggs?  Veggie scramble?  Scrambled eggs with veggies?

  • about 1.5 c. worth of organic frozen spinach, dethawed and drained
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • diced tomato (seeds removed)
  • garlic powder
  • 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, whisked together with salt, pepper and a splash of milk

I sauteed all the veggies together in a nonstick pan coated with cooking spray for a good 3-4 minutes before adding the egg mixture.  I love combos like this.  Only mushrooms would have improved it.  And maybe black olives. 😉

I also had a cheese quesadilla on the side because—yes—I am hopelessly addicted.  There’s something about a crispy whole wheat wrap and the melty x-sharp cheddar cheese.  Addicting.

Post dinner, I indulged in 30 minutes of yoga which felt ah-mazing on my tight back and legs.  I also indulged in a couple of medjool dates and a bowl of cereal for a night time snack, which is something I always have.  Eating a little bowl of cereal with milk at night helps me sleep while also giving me some extra pep for a morning run. 😀

Today was my last day of Preclinical Training, but instead of jumping right into the clinical rotation, I’ll be spending 2 months at a high school in food service.  And the orientation for that starts tomorrow!  I’m excited—nervous—and so ready for the ball to get rolling. 😀

Question: What is your favorite “busy morning” breakfast?